Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
The strong criticism today by the Australian Medical Association of the state health budget cuts is a serious warning that can’t be ignored.
The Minister for Health has repeatedly dodged or denied all questions from the Greens about the massive budget cuts that will start from July, but the evidence can’t be denied. There is a 7% gap between funding and costs next year, with 30% across the forward estimates.
The successive massive cuts to our health system have skewed it to a focus on extreme acute cases. At every point in the pathway towards recovery there is a lack of funding in the areas that help keep people well and out of hospital.
There are huge waiting times in Tasmania for people to see a specialist for the first time in most specialties. People waiting for elective surgery have little hope of being operated on unless they are classified in Category 1. This lack of funding to the less acute means people suffer for longer and their chronic conditions get worse.
Instead of implying that staff don’t work hard enough, or that they just need to better coordinated, Minister Ferguson needs to do the only thing that will fix these problems. He needs to argue the case for additional resources and then deliver for patients.